Home Health care provider MCC Healthcare Graduates Urged to Live “With Enthusiasm, Integrity and Reflection”

MCC Healthcare Graduates Urged to Live “With Enthusiasm, Integrity and Reflection”


LOWELL – More than 170 graduates of Middlesex Community College’s health program turned the tassel to commemorate the completion of their associated degrees and certificates at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Monday morning.

Students who studied dental assisting and hygiene, health care administration, diagnostic medical sonography, radiological technology and nursing, among others, walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and recite their health oaths before entering the next stage of their lives.

The ceremony was one of three MCC events this week honoring the class of 2022. Graduates in business, legal studies, public service and STEM will graduate on Wednesday, while those in education programs and liberal arts will attend their debut on Thursday. In total, nearly 850 MCC students from 65 countries graduated this year.

MCC President Phil Sisson presided over the ceremony, his first time since his appointment in July. Sisson passed on the same words of wisdom to this year’s graduates that he sent to his own sons and daughters when they graduated: “Live your life with the enthusiasm, integrity and thoughtfulness necessary for a full and happy life, whatever you do. »

“All of you who graduate will be medical professionals in a field that desperately needs you,” Sisson said. “I personally call on you to work as a strong advocate for public higher education, especially community college education, so that generations of those who follow can have the same opportunities and benefits as you.”

Naiska Cheung, a 2012 MCC graduate with an Associate of Science in Radiological Technology, delivered the commencement address 10 years after accepting her degree. Over the past decade, Cheung earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and she now works as a medical associate and helps people struggling with drug addiction.

Cheung’s success story started with many challenges, however, from when she got pregnant at 15, dropped out of high school, and had to raise her daughter as a single mother. None of her family, originally from Puerto Rico, had completed high school, and her own path to higher education was made even more difficult when she became homeless.

A lot has changed since then. Cheung’s daughter is now 17 and sat in the front row watching her mother deliver her speech at the start. Cheung singled her out, calling her “my biggest cheerleader and motivator.”

Now, after earning her master’s degree in medical science from Yale University in 2019, Cheung told the graduating class that she had a choice: enter the workforce, continue her education, or “do both.” She credits MCC for creating an inclusive and supportive environment that has helped her succeed.

“(MCC) fostered an environment that fostered learning not only for traditional students, but also for non-traditional students like myself, and it allowed me to re-build enough confidence in a classroom to that I look forward to an education beyond MCC,” Cheung mentioned. “Whatever you decide, be sure to show the world that healthcare graduates from Middlesex Community College are rock stars.”

Cheung also stressed the importance of choosing a career path “that inspires you” and overcoming any personal obstacles students may set for themselves. At the end of her speech, she received the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Student speaker Kalika Aun, from Lowell, shared similar hurdles to Cheung, being the first in her family to graduate from college. Aun received a certificate in dental assisting and graduated with top honors this year, and said she chose MCC because it’s affordable.

Although she attended a two-year college instead of a traditional four-year college, Aun said she and her peers are still doing well and “making themselves better than we were yesterday.” Aun said she was proud of herself and her fellow health programs for committing to the healthcare industry.

“I remember my mom telling me that money doesn’t matter when it comes to a job, you want to be able to love what you do and have a sense of purpose and never get bored. of what you are doing,” Aun said. “It’s an honor to be a healthcare worker. I finally have a purpose and meaning in my life, and that is to care for the public and give them all the satisfaction they seek in the health profession. We’re the future of healthcare, so let’s be the best of the best and show the public what we’ve learned.

Mayor Sokhary Chau also delivered remarks at the ceremony, congratulating the graduates for graduating through turbulent and historic times, as well as through work, family life and busy personal lives. Catherine Donato, a 2022 nursing graduate, sang the national anthem to thunderous cheers and applause.

Stupi Manandhar, of Arlington, said she wasn’t sure what led her to study ultrasound, but she’s glad she did. Manandhar graduated with top honors, but it was not without a struggle – she went to school while her husband cared for their young daughter.

After the start, Manandhar’s daughter Meeya, now 4, held flowers as they took photos together.

“She was 2 years old so it was very difficult for everyone,” Manandhar said of her time as a student. “It feels good (to graduate).”

Nicole Plante, of Middleboro, also earned her associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography. After spending two years in the classroom — and sometimes outside, due to the pandemic — Plante said she feels ready to enter the workforce and put her degree to good use.

“I’m ready to work and excited to make money and have a career,” Plante said.